Friday, October 15, 2010

Autumnal Celebration and Sadness

After a thirsty late summer, our rose bushes are blooming their hearts out despite the fact that we still need more rain here at Woodsong. The single bud I placed on the kitchen table to welcome Phyllis and Patty is now over five inches across and still looking pretty. Through email, we have heard that not only did they make it back safely to Florida very early Wednesday morning, but Patty had taken Phyllis for health check ups and she weathered the trip very well. One cute after effect of their visit was having Gerald call me Sue Alice, my childhood name that he heard while they were here.

This week as I drive to town, the bright red or light orange trees are much more common although the majority of the trees are still mottled green with only touches of color. When the garage door is left open, a few brown leaves are blowing in there as well as showing up on porches. While Gerald had the car out to drive to Jackson and Cape over in Missouri today, I swept them up, but others will soon replace them.

We are sad tonight for Garry and Ginger, Gerald’s brother and wife. Continuous seizures last week not only sent Ginger to the Cape hospital, but resulted in a dislocated shoulder that required surgery. All this is especially problematic because Ginger lost her short term memory from a stroke back in December 2001. We have been awed by the way that Garry has taken care of her and kept their life as normal as possible. But the after-care from this surgery is not something he can do alone. She had to leave the hospital for nursing home care, and he knows that all his repeated explanations to her are not remembered. For years now, he has taken her out for breakfast because that was the one meal he could count on her to consume. He will be eating alone in the morning.

Meanwhile, we are happy tonight for my sister Rosemary and husband Phil. Friday nights are family nights at the Parks’ house where everyone who is not tied up elsewhere comes to eat Mom and Pop’s cooking. Tonight is very special because both Cyndi and Gloria have already commemorated and expressed gratitude on Facebook that 50 years ago today, Rose and Phil drove from Amarillo to Galveston to adopt two pretty little blonds, aged l0 and 11. As their cousin Mary Ellen said, God knew that they belonged in our family. (It was later that they adopted Candy and Trudi. We lost Trudi on January 1, 2002 to cancer.)

Sadness and joy are so often mixed and jumbled together. Garry was so grateful last week that Ginger had not suffered another stroke and that she lived through those days in intensive care. Yet tonight he is grieving, and we are grieving with him and Vicki and Kerry. The Parks have always celebrated adoption day, and Gloria and Cyndi’s families are rejoicing over 50 years in their special family. Yet as Gloria said, they are all especially missing Trudi today. So do we.

The horrors that the Chili miners experienced during 17 days of knowing that no one knew they were alive and then all the difficult days following brought about the most intense joy imaginable for them and their families when they all came up safely. Yet we know they will have more difficulties as they readjust. A young mother we care about in the Washington, D.C. area totaled her van a couple of days ago, but that problem has been pushed aside in importance with the joyous news that her son will be coming safely home (again) from Iraq. Our daughter’s loss of a special loving caregiver brought us great distress, and the caregiver sobbed at leaving her. But now we are getting acquainted with an extraordinary highly trained and talented woman who has replaced her. The care giver who left had to move far away to take care of a very ill father. We pray that somehow someway this sad move turns into a positive event that will result in great joy.

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